No Dish Network For Us Thanks to Trees

Things went from bad to worse with Dish Network which began here and here. However, the worse is not their fault–just the surrounding flora.

Andy, our Dish Network installer, showed up at 3:30PM, which was 3 1/2 hours after the far end of our appointment window. When he greeted me, he was nice, but he had a troubled expression on his face. He proceeded to walk around the house to see where it would be best to install the dish.

I knew that if the dish was in the front yard that we would be able to point it towards the SSE where the main Dish Network satellite is. Unfortunately, I did not know that you have to connect with a different satellite to the SSW for the Taiwan Mega Pack service.

Andy came back to the front door with an even more worried expression. He explained about the satellite direction problem associated with our wanting the Taiwanese Mega Pack. This is a problem for us, because we have trees surrounding us on all sides except between E and S.

Andy was very nice and apologetic for making us wait all day, and he said that he would have his boss come out later today to verify that an install would not work at our location. Once that is verified, we will get a refund on my credit card. This sucks, because Y needs that TV coverage for her dissertation. I will have to come up with a Plan B.

Notes from Taiwan, Dead iPad, Comic Zeal Freeze Led to Forced Restore Mode

I can safely say that I am beyond pissed about my iPad. I spent the better part of an international flight typing up my notes on TRON: Legacy for a review in the SFRA Review, and today, I used my iPad for browsing and comic reading before it froze. No worries, I thought. I powered it off, and attempted to reboot it. Unfortunately, the iPad went into restore mode, and I was greeted by the iTunes plug-in screen. I watched YouTube videos and read lots of posts, but I could not find anything that disputed what I feared: everything on my iPad was lost and I would have to restore iOS.

I wouldn’t be so mad about this situation if:

  • Typing on Apple’s Pages and formatting all of those italics didn’t take so long.
  • I didn’t have to restore all of the apps that I had bought and wanted to use from the App Store.
  • I wouldn’t lose the media that I purchased from the App Store on the iPad after my last backup (TRON: Legacy soundtrack and the novel Atmospheric Disturbances).
  • I didn’t want to show my in-laws pictures that I had saved on my iPad.
  • My bookmarks weren’t obliterated.
  • My comic books weren’t erased.
  • My videos weren’t de-rezzed.

Y and I brought our iPads on this trip thinking that it would reduce how much stuff we had to keep up with. Y’s iPad didn’t transfer all of her photos, and now mine has just deep-sixed itself.

Y’s father was kind enough to let me install iTunes on his Windows XP enabled Acer machine so that I could perform a restore. The iPad seems to be working now, but it is wiped clean besides the default Apple software. I will grab some apps that I have already bought, but I cannot restore all of the media when my computer is half-way around the world.

I’m not entirely sure who I should be mad regarding this technology failure. Certainly, I could have brought my computer with me, but that defeats the purpose of a general computing device like an iPad. Apple’s hardware and software let me down by letting what I perceive to be an app’s problem to take down the entire device’s operating system, apps, and data. Is ComicZeal really at fault here? I haven’t had a chance to investigate other folks’ experiences with that software.

This is my experience, and I wanted to get it off my chest before I attempt to rewrite my review from my notes. Be warned and be careful with your iPad.

Coincidentally, my iPad locked up while I was using ComicZeal. I wonder if other folks have had similar issues with that software or other apps that have brought down the whole system on an iPad running iOS 4.2.

Shipping FAIL


Yufang ordered us a set of Staedtler 0.7mm mechanical pencils from (via Amazon), which arrived the very next day. As much as I applaud the company she bought the pencils from for their speed in packaging and getting the package shipped, I cannot understand why they would ship such a small item in such a huge box (see photo above–the cat is for scale–note also that Miao Miao could live in that Cat Ship). These kinds of shipping practices cost the customer in every way, because the cost of shipping materials are ultimately passed on to the consumer and the added weight costs the consumer more money for shipping. Additionally, oversized shipping is bad for the environment–more paper packaging and inflatable packing material. We will reuse the box, but I would have been perfectly happy if they had used less packing materials.